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Area offers a breath of fresh air

Ford, however, already knew all about the family he was leaving with.

"[Last year] we went underground," said Ford, describing a day trip the family took to a cavern in Schoharie. Ford also spent time last year swimming at the town pool, playing outside with the Dwyers' three children, going to Great Escape in Lake George and catching fireflies.

"We have fireflies in the city, too," interrupted Ford.

While the Dwyers, and the Fresh Air Fund, are nothing new for Ford, for other families, this year was the first time participating in the summer program.

"We've known about this program for many years, but this is the first time we are participating," said Kathy Dutch, of Delmar.

Dutch and husband Hayward, who do not have children of their own, anxiously waited for their summer guest, 10-year-old Diamond Martin, to arrive. According to the couple, this was Martin's first time going away for the summer with the Fresh Air Fund as well.

Hayward Dutch explained the process that the host families and child's parents have to go through to match up the child with the perfect family.

"The mom looks through our paperwork and makes a match based on what we like to do," he said.

According to Kathy Dutch, they "are outdoors people."

Her husband went on to say the host family can choose what sex and age they would like the child staying with them to be. Finally, a match is made, and that is how Martin ended up with the Dutch family.

Kathy Dutch said that Martin will have another companion to spend the two weeks with as well: their chocolate lab.""

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